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To the Muslim Kid Who Built a Suitcase Clock in Texas

Texas muslim student clock

Ok, this is not really an open letter to him, but more to America who is reacting to the news that a Muslim kid built a clock in a suitcase, took it to his school to show it off to his teachers, was arrested as a result for a fake bomb hoax, and has now been invited to the White House. Above is an actual picture of it, keep it in mind throughout this article.   It might surprise you, but I actually spent the past 13 years of my life working with youth in the area of residential treatment, foster care, and adoption.  I know for a fact that kids who endure the most miserable of experiences and have troubled behaviors are capable of unsurpassed greatness.  That being said, I also know if you are under the age of 18 you have the remarkable ability to be surprisingly ignorant and to be quite honest, a little stupid.  And now thanks to such behavior, the entire nation is embroiled in a riveting debate when it should just be saying, huh, kids these days.

Stereotypes

Yes, much of America is deriding the Texas school and police for stereotyping a Muslim kid who built a clock in a suitcase.  To which I just want to reply, slow down America.  Granted this Muslim kid who is 14 years old may have never seen it, but I think most of America with a sense of humor has seen the movie Airplane and the epic suitcase bomb on the plane.  But I can go more recent. Below you will see the suitcase bomb from Die Hard with a Vengeance.  Great movie.  I could show you the one from the Untouchables, an episode of 24, or perhaps a Russian nuclear suitcase bomb that is pretty much fact.  So while America is subject to stereotypes, why are we ignoring that the one that says bombs often come in suitcases and they usually have a clock.

Texas suitcase bomb

To be quite honest, this kid is fortunate that he decided to impress his teacher and not his local EOD veteran.  Because if that kid, or any kid, shows up at my door and opens that suitcase, I am kicking him hard in the chest like he is Straight Outta Sparta.  Clocks hardwired to suitcases look like bombs and it might only be the EOD guy that could quickly tell otherwise at first glance.  If a man dressed in a Dark Knight outfit dropped into an alleyway, you would probably say, “what’s up batman?”  And if a human being shows you a suitcase hardwired to a clock, you are going to call it a bomb.  I’m not trying to be a jerk my 14 year old Ahmed, but bro, it kind of looks like a bomb.  Get over it America.

It is a Muslim Kid

I am assuming this is why Barrack Obama has invited him to the White House.  He is a Muslim kid, subject to the paranoia of America and thus, we need to reassure him that all is ok from the President of the United States.  Meanwhile, I am all like, this kid is 14 and he is either really stupid or not.  I am guessing not.  Again, I worked with kids for as long as this kid has been alive and while they will act remarkably stupid at times, they are not so much.  Yes Mr. President, we need more kids involved in Science and Engineering.  But we needn’t reward poor judgement along the way.  So Mr. President, when you meet with him, slap him on the back, congratulate him on his engineering and then suggest to him that he perhaps not put it in a suitcase next time.  It can be that simple.

texas muslim kid arrested

I grew up white in the South.  I liked to bring things to show and tell. After all, who doesn’t like to impress the teachers and his peers.  However, I was well aware of stereotypes long before age 14.  If I had invented a rainproof winterized white mask with a pointy tip, my common sense would have told me that something is not right.  Perhaps I was into fashion and weatherproofed gear, but I knew well before 14 what such a sight would resemble and I can’t think of a possible scenario where I thought that would have been ok.

This kid grew up in the age of 9-11 and was in fact 14 years old exactly. He seems like a smart enough kid.   If this kid is smart enough to build a clock from scratch, there is no part of me that thinks this kid missed the association between a hardwired clock in a suitcase and his ethnicity.  Oh, “how wrong of you”, you scream.  Well, would I let my son bring his weatherized pointy hat and robe to school?  No, I most certainly would not no matter how much he is in to fashion.  Where was this kid’s parents?  Are they truly that oblivious?  If Hollywood has taught the American psyche anything it is that bombs come in suitcases, when in reality they do not. I am not saying the stereotypes are correct people, I am just saying I don’t buy the fact that a 14 year old Muslim kid completely missed the reference.  America is trying to wrestle with some deep issues about this stuff right now.  You are not helping kid, not helping at all.

Modern School

Ladies and gentlemen of America, we live in an age where an elementary kid can be expelled for sexual harassment for kissing a girl on the check.  We live in an age where a kid can wear a shirt with a gun on it and get suspended for threatening his peers.  We in fact live in an age where many schools are banning the American flag for fear it be offensive.  So yes, we live in an age, where if you bring a clock wired to a suitcase you might get arrested for making a bomb threat.  Regardless of race, but yes, go ahead and suck it up and admit the mental image that pops in your head with ethnicity and religion.  You don’t have to like it, but spare me the pleasantries.  I don’t think the cops should have arrested him after investigation as they realized it wasn’t a bomb.  That seems a bit much.  But I can’t get over the poor judgement, even for a 14 year old.  I equally distrust the white kid who wants to show me his pipe shaped ball bearing holder.

Texas Suitcase bomb

If a Muslim guy yells Allahu Akhbar on a plane, you are going to poop your enlightened pants.  You might not tell anyone, but a stereotypical stank is still stereotypical and we all suffer from it.  I don’t think the teacher or the cops are racist any more than I think this kid is a terrorist.  I think he is a 14 year old kid who knew full well what he was doing because kids are stupid like that.  Then I think the teacher and officials were reacting to it the same way you would on a plane no matter how much the youthful inventor tried to assure you he was trying to impress you with his engineering. We can’t keep getting dragged into racial, religious, and cultural debates every time someone does something stupid.  Calm down America, a 14 year old male in America did something silly.  It is not a national crisis, it is just MTV.  Remind me to tell you about my friend who wore a T-Shirt emblazoned, “Irish Republican Army” to hear a speech by Margaret Thatcher.  Stupid is as stupid does, but stupid does a lot before the age of 18.

If You Think Kids Do Dumb Stuff, Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below. 

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Jeff Edwards

38 Comments

  1. Well said. I have been debating dumbasses on this all night. When they see the picture they’re like… ummm… uhhh… mmmmm… Because some news sites have put up pictures of ordinary clocks. This is not one of those. And other idiots are all “But where are the explosives?” and I’m like ” So if this is closed, with wires hanging out, and a kid named Ahmed asks you to open it with your 9 year old daughter next to you… do you do it or run like hell? If this kid had taken this device to the White House front gate he probably would have been shot. And if he’d been white? Obama wouldn’t have given him the time of day.

    • And still most liberals don’t care.

      War with Islam is unavoidable. This Muslim terrorist is desensitizing his community. He is as much apart of the fifth column as those who defend his innocence in this case. The “refugees” that are pouring into Europe and the muslims immigrating to America are also fifth columnists. Most of them are military aged men. Muslims are pushing for sharia law in Europe and America. Liberals are in love with Islam. They are about to get a rude awakening when the first European country falls to Islam. “Convert or die” will be the order of the day.

    • “Built” a clock is giving this average kid waaaaaaay too much credit. If you look at the picture it’s clearly a regular alarm clock that was disassembled. All he did was remove the enclosure, in other words take the insides out and place it in a suitcase that clearly looks like a bomb! All it’s missing is the explosives pretty much. To build is to actually make something, which this kid clearly DID NOT. Whats wrong with America ? Any other country would have apprehended the parents for letting this kid bring something like that to school and scaring everyone.

  2. I’m not an EOD guy and after looking at that photo for 5 seconds I’m left wondering, “Where’s the bomb?” The thing had to plugged into a wall outlet to work so it’s not like you could confuse a battery pack for an explosive brick. What kind of idiot would make a bomb that can be disarmed by pulling the plug? Even after determining it wasn’t a bomb, the police arrested him because it looked like a ‘convincing’ fake. Does it really only take one nitwit to perceive a threat that leads to a 14 being handcuffed?

    I do agree with you that it could be perceived as a bomb if your only exposure to suitcase bombs comes from movies and television. However, it also means that you probably shouldn’t be in a position responsible for educating today’s youth, regardless of subject matter.

    • You sir, have no fucking clue. Bombs have all sorts of false mechanisms. A plug can be one of them. If you notice there is also a plug for a 9V battery tucked inside. There are many many ways this can be a bomb. Pulling the plug could detonate it. Leaving the plug in could detonate it. Moving it at all could detonate it. Opening it could detonate it (several methods for this one).

      • Fair point about trigger mechanisms and booby-traps. I still can’t see a bomb though. From the picture they show of the device it appears to be sitting inside an open briefcase.

        By the way, how many more bombs are set off by phones rather than oversized digital clocks? How many students carry phones in school these days?

    • WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WOULD MAKE A SHOE BOMB OR PANTY BOMB, OR USE AIRLINERS AS GUIDED MISSILES

  3. I think you, and the vast majority of the American public, are utter fucktards for believing that bombs look like the ones in bad Hollywood fiction fuckery.

    I think every adult involved in this aside from the kids’ parents should be knee-capped, taken out of any job involving kids or requiring effective cognitive skills, neutered, and their children taken by CPS.

    I think the city owes this kid a free ride at the best possible private school, and any University he can get into.

    I think America needs to stop being a pussy-whipped little bitch and start acting like grand nation it once was.

    • How amazingly open minded of you pave pusher. Thrusting children into foster care because what looks like a bomb is not. Perhaps you presume the average teacher would know the difference. Perhaps you would presume if the Columbine kids were stopped at the doors, we should just accept their answers for what’s in the bag. If this kid wasn’t muslim, the story doesn’t make national news. It was a silly move by the kid, and poor supervision by the parents.

  4. Show up for a guided tour through the White House with this kids “clock” and see what the security force would do,

    Try to take your new “clock” on the plane with you to visit friends and family and see how TSA reacts.

    Muslim or not, bomb or not, sorry this is the world we live in.

    • I thought about mentioning that, how this would never make it on an airplane.

  5. See, I got a 10 year old whose wheels are turning about how she can get a free trip to the White House. I also bet little Muslim boys arent doing this in their own countries. my wife is using this for her students today in their contemporary issues class. I guess it’s copyright infringement or something but she will be sure to give you a plug for your efforts.

    • Shane, the Brown family will always full rights to Unprecedented Mediocrity. Use it as you will Gunny.

  6. There was a story in The Mailonline about a week ago. It was about a 15 year old Canadian kid that tried to take an alarm clock that looked like a timing device attached to sticks of fake dynamite on a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. This kid was definitely stupid. It even comes with a warning from the manufacturers.

    ‘Don’t bring this to school or to work, and certainly don’t bring it anywhere near an airport!
    ‘Seriously, don’t get yourself into trouble.’

    Here’s a link with a picture of the ” bomb ” clock.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3224962/What-thinking-Airport-evacuated-teenager-tries-alarm-clock-designed-look-like-BOMB-plane.html#ixzz3m0aITG5z
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  7. I try not to get wrapped up in the nonsense of today’s media and whichever angle they tend to lean. In the recent years of incidents at schools and malls and other soft targets as they are known, there have been many improvised explosive devices that were recovered that the media isn’t told about. or more likely, not reported because they failed to detonate, causing more injuries, or causing a more horrific picture to be put out on the 5, 6 or 10 o’clock news. I was in the Army in the infantry from 1991 to 1995 and saw how things changed from defined enemies to the new roles the military has to accomplish. And I had the new found respect for a lot of things that go boom! Especially when it isn’t manufactured by the US military. Two years after that, I started police work and I have found a lot of interesting things that will blow you up that are made from many common items in New Mexico. I currently live Colorado and many of these teens involved in school shootings have also arrived with explosive devices intended to take out police, fire fighter, and paramedics and anyone else unfortunate to be nearby. It isn’t always about the guns they had but the nasty surprise waiting for good Samaritans. And most of these kids are under 18. This clock in a suitcase has no other purpose but to be to trigger for any explosive device. Why would you want to carry a suitcase to tell time? with the world flooded with smartphones, cell phones, Apple products, Microsoft products, and anything the competitors want to steal as their own, a watch on your wrist is basically pointless. Why, then, a clock in a suitcase? My bullshit meter is pegged out.

    • Well for one thing, you can’t learn how to build and design a smart phone until you start with the basics (see device image). Does the container it came in reallyake a difference? Would a backpack have been less thteatening. Also, the kid is 14 and probably naively assumed that he wouldn’t get treated like a 14 year old overseas in a combat zone.

      It’s a personal issue for me because this could have easily been me back when I was in high school. Why none of the adults at the school were content with visit the principle’s office and a letter home, but instead opted for handcuffs in beyond comprehension.

      • I see your point and it is valid. I was not running with the straight and narrow crowd when I was in school. And you are right that most issues were handled with the school administration back then. There are a lot of kids who would benefit from that as well. And some of these same kids are smart and will end up becoming fantastic combat engineers or even SF operators. Being able to think outside the norms of society.

        I have found devices in a lot of containers, enough to make me worry about simple paper sacks by a trash can. A back pack, pipes with sealed ends, unusual amounts of tape on a box (or shoe box), a children’s toy bear, a cigar box with no seal at all, unlabeled 2 liter bottles, a pile of clothes, and many other common place items will conceal IEDs. I don’t want to be the guy who foregoes those items and it ends up killing kids.

  8. This was a total set up to make schools officials and cops look stupid … how many clocks look like that ? .. and what a maroon you are if you are defending the kid.

  9. Meanwhile a white kid gets suspended for making a pop tart gun.

  10. Yes, how many kids have been killed in public schools by exploding bombs? Oh that’s right… none.

    This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan where they throw child bombers at soldiers. Go ahead, keep applying battlefield thinking to public spaces in the United States. One day you’ll wonder why you have to go through 3 checkpoints just to hit the walmart for your daily 6 pack. Of course, that might be perfectly acceptable to some paranoid morons out there.

    Kids bring stupid crap to school all the time. When I was his age I lugged a 40 lb. piece of granite to my school to show everyone how cool it was. I was excited about the educational aspects.

    I also brought a briefcase with me to school. Sure I got funny stares and whatever. As I recall, most bombs delivered in public places are delivered in backpacks. Olympics, British public transit, Boston marathon. No one except an idiot who watches too many action movies would equate a briefcase with a bomb. The idea is to blend in, not stick out like a sore thumb.

    Basically they just made an example of him, because they could and because they don’t value creativity at that school, in that town. In our town, our police chief would be like, “Why the f are you bothering me with this crap? I’ve got better things to do than harass kids.” Apply some common sense for cripes sakes.

    • Hmmm how many building were destroyed by flying a plane into them before the first one occurred??? Piss poor example, and to all those saying “he shouldn’t have been arrested” well you’re right and he wasn’t… Take a google look at pics of captured suitcase bombs and tell me where the explosives are.. This is a reaction to our times, if this had been a white child or a black child, you never would have heard about it..

  11. Yes, get rid of the suit case. Perhaps he could take it to the white house in a pressure cooker. No one in the white house would think twice about his clock. They don’t profile.
    It’s all fun and games until the school is blown up. Then the cops are a bunch of boobs that hat America and let it blow up on purpose or some other crazy asp crap from the left.

  12. I won’t comment on the device, because I was explosive and incendiary specialist in the Air Force, and I played with explosives most of my life from when I blew up the church garbage can at 10 years old on. I just think the teacher should have been adult enough to discern what he/she had and handle it through the school system. I’m not one to involve the cops unless it really is a very bad emergency. We are living in times that kids are arrested for fighting at the bike rack for cripes sake. Lets start acting like adults. Maybe if they let them fight it out as long as no weapons were involved, there would be alot less feeling for the need to take a gun to school. Paul Paver P.S. Good article Jeff

  13. (I don’t know why everyone keeps saying he built it in a suitcase. He built it in a pencil box. Sure, this particular pencil box resembles a suitcase, but considering the fact that it’s small enough to fit in your pocket kind of diminishes that) LOL

    • There are plenty of pics of this clock. It’s much too large to put in a pocket. Notice the plug on the right.

    • Why do people like you keep making stuff up? Compare the size of the 9v plug inside the case and tell me again how this would fit into a pocket? This is in a case, not a pencil case and I agree with the author, simply a bad decision by a smart kid…

  14. This author is trying to say that America is full of paranoid, stupid people and that we should just accept that fact. I guess he feels that there is no point in holding people accountable for their own over-reactions, much less try to address the reasons why people are afraid and act this way in the first place. My guess is that he is some soft, lazy millennial who was never taught by his parents that just because everyone is doing something, it’s ok for you to do it too.

    You can’t give up on society and your country just because you are too lazy to try, or too impatient to wait for things to improve. That line of thinking is immature and selfish. It’s a good thing this is only the author’s opinion, and not considered real news.

    The point he should have made, is that while the teacher was right to question the device and be cautious, there was no reason to panic and immediately call the police and a bomb squad. We do not live in a turbulent Middle-Eastern city where things are randomly bombed every day – in spite of how people in Texas might think. This situation should have been handled with more skill and common sense. After all, the faculty are supposedly intelligent adults and educators. I certainly expect more from people left in charge of teaching children. The cold facts of redneck racism and idiotic paranoia do not change the faculty’s accountability here. Those things are in no way a justification of what happened here.

    • We should be held accountable. However , what if it wasnt a clock, but really a bomb? …. Police npt called and bomb goes boom …. what then? Then everyone defending this kid are saying how the schools at fault , the teacher wasnt trained , more security… err on the side of caution … the only mistake made here was after the police showed up … a stern talking to would have done the job … now weve created a situation where teachers have to worry about making a call now .. is it a bomb? Is it dangerous … ill just hope it turns out ok ….
      So while were holding people accountable we need to remember that this is not 20 years ago and some areas of the world a kid is a dangerous weapon …

  15. Did they really think this was a bomb or decided to arrest the Muslim kid because they are so blinded by their bigotry.

    Normally, when one thinks there is a bomb, you call the bomb squad. That didn’t happen.

    If they thought it was a bomb, they would evacuate the school to remove everyone from danger. That didn’t happen.

    If you think it’s a bomb, you put the “bomb” in a police car and drive it to the police station.

    The kid told them it was a clock. Outside of them arresting the kid and taking him away, No one reacted as if it was a bomb. The kid never claimed it was a bomb, called it a clock and asked specifically if it was a bomb, he told them it wasn’t. He wasn’t trying to fool anyone. Yet, with all that evidence indicating it’s not a bomb and not one reacted as if it’s a bomb, everyone is criticizing the kid as if he’s the stupid one.

    Now, here an entire article explaining why the everyone else’s idiotic reaction that makes no sense.

    • You’ve seen a few too many action flicks there Dave! You’d call the BOMB SQUAD? What’s THAT number Dave? Shouldn’t have dialed 911? And “put it in a police car and drive it to the police station”…REALLY? Who’s the idiot that’s gonna say, “Just put it in the trunk of my squad car! I’ll drive it down through all of this innocent traffic, and at least if it blows up, it’ll only kill a few cops!” THAT doesn’t even make a GOOFY movie!!!
      Do you think the guys that hijacked the planes back on 9/11 would have said, “We’re going to fly these planes into buildings!”, THEY never CLAIMED they were going to do that! They were fooling EVERYONE!
      That last sentence kind of wraps up your argument. “Now, HERE an entire”….”why THE everyone else’s”……turn off the TV and do a little reading Dave. Maybe some articles about how 14 year olds are used as bomb couriers all over the world. Peace to you my brother!

  16. “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”. Totally agree with this article, and I actually used Die Hard With a Vengeance as an example of why someone might react a certain way to the item he brought in (upon hearing suitcase, clock, and then seeing the photo in a news post).

  17. He didn’t build a bomb… he didn’t build a clock. This kid is not an electronics genius. That is a commercially manufactured old digital clock, removed from it’s original case, and the components then mounted inside of a “suit case.” I smell a scam. Either this kid is a schoolyard fraud who thought he could fool his science teacher with a fake “do it yourself” project, or this whole thing was a setup designed to elicit the exact reaction that it did… get national attention to the plight of poor discriminated upon Muslims. If the latter is the case, then they certainly got what they were looking for… in spades.

  18. My 9 year old son and I were talking one night about news. I happened to mention I thought one particular politician was stupid. He asked me, “Dad, are there are a lot of stupid people?” I replied, “yes, yes there are. in fact, it’s an epidemic and it’s contagious. Be careful who you hang out with.” This is a prime example of stupidity, and I agree with your thought on parental involvement. “Yea, go ahead son. Take your clock that looks like a suitcase bomb to school. What a great kid you are.”

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